Concerns remain over Rock Channel

Traffic along the A259 South Undercliff which borders the Rock Channel area

Rye Town Council (RTC) has commented further following Monday’s meeting (October 14) of the planning committee on the proposed development in the Rock Channel area of Rye of a multi-purpose arts centre, with accommodation for artists, a new two-storey riverside restaurant, five new riverside dwellings and three mews dwellings.

A large amount of new information about the proposal has been supplied to the planning authority, Rother District Council, over the summer, after adverse comments from Highways England and East Sussex County Council on transport issues.

Rye Town Council had given qualified support to the proposal earlier in the year, but expressed concern about various issues including parking, traffic, floods and sewage.

Monday’s meeting was concerned that the developers did not yet seem to have fully addressed these issues or provided enough information.

Colonel Anthony Kimber (who led work on Rye’s neighbourhood plan) briefed the committee on the new information provided and said the developer was meeting Highways England next week on some of the traffic issues.

One document on the traffic issues stresses that the proposed new arts centre would only be used for events once a month throughout the year (ie 12 times) and the statistics supplied on traffic were based on it principally being an art gallery.

Concern had also been expressed about “shared use areas” where pedestrians and cars have to use the same space, particularly in the narrow restaurant area, and the statistics emphasise that the development straddles the road through to more housing, auction premises, the sea cadets HQ and another business further along Rock Channel.

Overall the planning committee did not feel the developer had addressed either the town council’s concerns, or East Sussex County Council’s concerns that the site could become part of the “town centre tourist route” with significant traffic implications.

Image Credits: John Minter .


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